Weim lives matter!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Fiona has a lot of personality and she takes some cute pictures.  Here's a couple...

Are you talking to me?

Checking her fan mail

Aren't I the cutest!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How Much Does a Tail Weigh? (Day 2 with Fiona)

When I went to pick Fiona up in Findlay, Ohio Dr. Fuller told me that she was a bit overweight, but had lost a bit while she was with them.  I was quite surprised to find out that at 8 months she weighed more than either of my adult Weim males.  Then I got to thinking, well, she does have a long tail...  She is on a diet now and will start an exercise regimen next week.  She was only spayed on Monday and I want to give her a full week to heal before I allow her to run and play.  For now her walks will have to suffice.

Our ride home from Findlay, OH to Washington, PA went pretty smoothly, although Fiona just couldn't relax and was constantly changing positions.  I knew she was unhappy in the crate, but I knew that for safety reasons it was the best way for her to travel.

The biggest problem I had was getting her out of the vehicle.  She would come to the edge of the crate, but not come any further and I thought she was afraid to leave the safety of the crate.  At the first stop I was able to get ahold of her and quickly get her out and on the ground, but at the second stop she wasn't going to let that happen.  I spent 20 minutes or more trying to coax her out, even using food, but she wasn't going to cooperate at all.  Then I saw some grass next to a parking area at a nearby McDonald's and thought she might come out if it was grass she jumped onto rather than asphalt.  I drove over and backed up to a curb.  She came out with just a bit of encouragement and I realized it was the jump down that she was scared of, not leaving the crate, and the curb brought the jump to a level that she could handle.  Thank goodness our front yard slopes to the driveway and I could back right up and make it easy for her to exit the vehicle.

Fiona and I took two walks today and she is quickly catching on to the idea of loose leash walking.  When there is a very stimulating distraction she'll have trouble remembering how to behave, but there are times when we walk for quite a distance on a loose leash and when I do stop because of a tight lead, it only takes a few seconds for her to come toward me to make the leash loose so that we can proceed again.

She is highly distracted by birds and cats.  On our first walk she thought she should chase cars that went past us, but she did better with that in the afternoon.

So far our dogs and Fiona are doing fine, but we're taking the integration slowly.  She seems to be settling in and relaxing, which is what I wanted to see.  She'll stay in the neighborhood until next week when I'll start taking her places so she can learn to greet strangers appropriately.

Right now she is resting quietly in a crate, where she also spends her nights.  I think she'll advance quickly in her training, she is showing that she is a smart girl.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


We have a new foster pup in our home as of this evening.  We're calling her Fiona and are happy to have her with us.

Here is this 8-month-old Weimaraner pup's story:

Fiona was purchased as a pup by a woman who also owns a shepherd mix.  This poor woman didn't know what she was getting into with a Weim pup and didn't heed her vet's advice to start training the pup right from the start.

My understanding is some health problems ensued for the pup's owner and matters got worse.  The pup spent most of her time in a crate and with not enough exercise and no training she became a "bad" dog.  

According to the owner the pup was drinking large amounts of water and the woman decided that the dog was diabetic.  She took the pup to the vet and told him to put the dog down.

Thank goodness the vet she went to was Dr. Fuller at the Blanchard Valley Veterinary Clinic in Findlay, Ohio and Dr. Fuller refused to kill a healthy pup.  Instead Dr. Fuller took ownership of the pup and one of his vet techs, who just happens to be my cousin, Nancy Dreisbach, contacted me about getting the pup into rescue.

Since there are no Weimaraner rescues in Ohio and the Michigan rescues were pretty full Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue stepped in to help Fiona find her forever home.  Findlay, Ohio is my hometown and so I made the drive over, had a short visit with my parents and picked up Fiona to bring her home.  I will be fostering her until she is ready to go to her new home.

Dr. Fuller and his staff deserve a lot of credit for what they did for this young dog.  Besides saving her life, they took care of her until we could get to Findlay to pick her and Dr. Fuller performed her spay surgery at no charge to the rescue.  The doctor and his staff also found time to take her for walks and give her special attention.  What a great group of people!

Here is Fiona with some of Dr. Fuller's staff, showing that she is full of energy and ready for fun.  Please note that Fiona has a long, undocked tail.

This photo shows Dr. Fuller and his staff with Fiona.  I like this photo because if you look at the three women they are all looking at Fiona with such warmth!

One last photo of Fiona with her friends at the Blanchard Valley Veterinary Clinic.  Thanks again for all you did for this dog!

In my next post I'll tell you more about Fiona and our five-hour drive to Pennsylvania.  For now she's settling in, learning about steps and meeting my dogs.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


     At the start of this post I want to make it clear that all the opinions expressed herein are my opinions only and are not that of any organization or group that I am a member of or affiliated with in any way.

     I have been troubled  and torn since I first read the article entitled, "Rescued Weimaraner to Show at Westminster 2012," which was published on the Life With Dogs site.  http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2012/02/rescued-weimaraner-to-show-at-westminster-2012/

     This article tells a wonderful story of a man taking a dog from horrific circumstances and giving him a second chance on life.  The story almost has a Hollywood theme to it, as Maverick, a dog who is in terrible physical shape, becomes a champion and will now be showing on the biggest stage available for conformation dogs in the United States, the fabled Westminster Kennel Club show.

     I want to commend Dan Stallings, the man who found this dog and has returned him to championship form, as no dog deserves to live in the way that this dog was living, and those who go out of their way to help dogs need to be given proper thanks and credit.  In no way do I mean to take anything away from what he did for this dog by what I state in this post.

     The problem I have with this story is this dog being called a "rescue" and the concept of rescue that will be given to the general public as this tale is told during the broadcast of the Westminster show.

     To better explain the problem of where I'm coming from on this subject I'll use some quotes from the article that I mentioned above.

     First, how was the dog acquired?  "I felt so terrible for him that I bought him off the gentleman (and I use that word loosely) just to get him out of that living environment."

     From my knowledge of rescue, the practice is not to purchase dogs, thereby rewarding the owner for getting rid of the dog.  Quite the opposite, there is oftentimes a relinquishment fee charged to help cover the costs of the care the dog will need.

     "I was able to convince his previous owner to let me have him for a small rehoming fee with his papers, and he was signed over to me."

     I have several problems with this idea.  One of the first things I ask someone who has a dog that needs help is who was the breeder of the dog or where did they get the dog.  If the dog is from a responsible breeder I know that the breeder would want to be informed that one of their dogs is in trouble and I would first give them the chance to step in and take their dog back.  I feel that rescue needs to work with breeders and encourage their participation in caring for the dogs that they have produced.

     Beyond finding out who the breeder of the potential rescue dog is there should be no need to have the papers and certainly not to pay to get them, once again, a reward for the person getting rid of the dog.  If they want the dog to be able to participate in AKC companion events it only takes an ILP registration and the dog would be eligible for obedience, rally, agility and tracking. 

     "Upon acquiring Maverick and going through his paperwork I located and contacted the breeder to assure her he was safe and sound now.  I found out from her that she had been desparately (sic) trying to get Mav back but the owner had moved and wouldn't return any of her phone calls or emails."

     I have many thoughts on these statements in the article, both for the rescuer and the breeder.  As I stated previously, the breeder should have been contacted immediately when the identity of the dog was known and given the chance to fulfill the requirements of a responsible breeder.  

     I would also think that the unreturned emails and phone calls would raise a red flag causing the breeder to work harder to locate this dog and check on his well-being.  If we're going to bring these dogs into the world and sell them we need to take the time to ensure that they are safe and well taken care of.  Too much to ask?  I don't think so.  And if it's too daunting of a task either slow down your breeding program so that you can keep track of your dogs or quit breeding.

     "She was a great help in getting Mav on the podium where he belonged and taught me alot (sic) about the breed and the show world."

     This statement was made in reference to the breeder of this dog.  Of course the breeder is going to help get a dog into the show ring, another champion, grand champion and Westminster shown dog is a boon to her breeding program; however, it seems unfair that after allowing this dog to go to such a poor home that now the breeder reaps the benefits of this dog's reputation.

     The most egregious part of this dog being called a rescue is that he is even in the breed ring at all.  I've never known a rescue group that does not demand that all dogs be neutered or spayed and as we all know, only intact dogs may be shown in the conformation ring.  The fact that this dog was not neutered within the first few weeks of his acquisition leads me to believe that there was never any intention of neutering him and, in fact, he was purchased to be a show dog, not rescued for the sake of rescue.

     "It's like I tell everyone who knows Maverick.  You may not end up with a show winning champion, but when you open your home and your heart to a rescue, you'll certainly feel like one..."

     No, they won't end up with a show winning champion, because their rescue will be neutered or spayed and to mislead the public into thinking that their rescue could be shown in the conformation ring is totally giving the wrong impression of what rescue is all about.

     I don't know if Maverick has been or will in the future be used as a stud dog, but there again could be another misuse of the term rescue dog, as part of the goal of rescue is to ensure that these dogs that have been ill-used and neglected do not have the chance to reproduce and allow their offspring to fall to the same fate.

     I wish Maverick the best  of luck at the Westminster show, but I wish his current owner would not refer to him as a rescue and I hope his breeder has learned a lesson that will make her more careful in the placement of her puppies and her efforts to make sure that they have good homes for their entire lives.

     My purpose of writing this post is to get people thinking about this dog and rescue so that if the opportunity arises they can educate the public correctly about rescue and what it entails and does not entail.

     Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts.